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Here's Where I Stand {Casey, Jace} - Page 2 - Last Resort
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by: Kara Viridian
#10702
Kara sensed Casey's irritability right away, and she didn't need super senses like Bryden to notice that. Actually, it was fairly easy for her to pick that out because they'd been in so many business meetings lately that she knew when things sounded off. It was also that she'd known him for years already. Everything from the look in his eyes to the lengthy pauses, all the way up to his cold tone were the symptoms of an inbound conversational disaster.

Kara kept her hands linked together, her fingers laced, placed on top of her desk as she listened to Jace speak up. There might have been a heartrate spike because she tended to worry when he opened his mouth; the unpredictable Alpha garou had a way with words, colorful pictures painted by way of him simply speaking his mind. Each thing spoken was as sharp as the fangs he wore on his bandolier, pulling up dirt on the man Kara had trusted and essentially fallen in love with those years ago. But having this thrown into the light by an outsider just twisted that knife that hit her right in the gut.

She managed to calm herself to show her confidence in partnering with him, however, to his preamble, she looked over at Jace with her eyebrows raised. Kara didn't want to interrupt, because a) she knew better and b) he had every right to say what he wanted, it was an open forum, currently. Jace was invited here, just the same as Casey and if there was even a sliver of hope or a dream that they'd manage to make their alliance work, they needed to move past all of this. If they could.

Kara though she should have expected such a response, though and she couldn't blame him for taking offense to what Casey was insinuating. Threats, heated arguments, temper flares were such a common occurrence nowadays but it didn't make things any easier. However, she still wanted to keep things level, for as long as she could. They weren't bound here and they could leave if they wanted, but it wouldn't be conducive to any of their faction's business.

After all was said, Kara was still a little speechless. Yeah, she was present at that meeting in America, but was everything even really explained? Thoroughly? She asked Casey to clarify and the thing that bothered her the most was that he sounded like keeping the safe house safe wasn't a priority at all. Attacks on the front lines would need the best of the best, to show that they were back in business...but would she want room leave the house unattended? No. Never. She had to put a pin in that thought for later, when it came back around to her.

Was this how things were going to be, then? No. She wanted to make this work, even if she had to fight like hell to find some common ground. She sighed and looked between the two men before eyeing the clock.

Not even five minutes in. Record timing.

Kara did well to hide some of the discomfort on her face, but it was what was swirling and swarming her underneath that facade that made everything feel worse. She tried not to be read by either one of these men, but something told her being read was the least of her worries.
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by: Jace Bryden
#11162
Jace felt a flash of white hot anger at Casey's flippant response. Secrecy. Liability. Same thing. They'd been working with the government for the better part of a year and it was well known that the 7 were nothing more than werewolves. If the current government knew of the existence of Garou that information hadn't come from any of Lucky 7. Honestly it sounded as if the other man was speaking for the pack on that point. Captured? Outed? Who the hell did Casey think he was dealing with. And then the added comment about working with whoever and whatever....

The alpha was barely able to contain a snarl at that, but in a rare show of restraint, Jace channeled the anger and rage into a dangerous look, matched Casey's glare and smirked. Other than that he kept his posture the same: feet up on the desk, a lazy slouch into his chair, hands clasped loosely and resting on his stomach. Kara had asked him here for a reason and the alpha was certain it couldn't have been just to play nice with Winslow.

"Whoever and whatever? Your group? The Order? I know the Order, but who the hell is your group? Numbers and capabilities? Or are you expecting Kara here to just pony up the man power on nothing more than a whoever and whatever? Cause it seems like you know everything about the Order but the Order knows jack about you." He kept the cadence of his voice as nutral sounding as he could, though there would be no mistaking the dangerous undertone it carried.

Jace shifted his gaze over to Kara for a beat before turning it back on Casey. "Now, me and the 7 might be nothing but a lowly pack of mercenaries to your uneducated mind, but I do have a vested interest in making sure my ally and current employer has all the information she needs to come out on top."
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by: Kara Viridian
#11168
Now this conversation was turning into something interesting, wasn't it? Tension. From all sides, there was tension. Casey, frustrated because of Jace's involvement. Jace, because of Casey's mystery--the smoke and mirrors. And Kara? Well...she was in the middle of all of that, paying close attention to every shift in the room. Every movement, every sigh and breath, and the connotation in the voices as they lay out their points, punctuated by their frustration.

First came Casey's words. Correcting Jace where he'd been 'misheard'. In Jace's defense, that's exactly what she'd heard too, but an honest mistake if there was one. From the first time the Lucky 7 set foot in this safe house, he hadn't been a fan of the Alpha and his way of handling things so this was probably Casey's way of trying to get Jace to back out of the fight, in his own, sly way. A request without actually requesting it, that is. Clever. But if she knew the Alpha like she'd known him of the past few months--hell, at first sight she could already tell he wouldn't ever back down from a fight, so Casey could ask and beg and plead til he was blue in the face and that wouldn't work. Still, she narrowed her eyes when he'd mentioned the Order being a liability as well, which made her wonder what exactly she was fighting for if he worded it that way. But she didn't speak up. Not yet. He wasn't wrong to say they were all wanted, as it was quite true. A wanted man, a former fugitive and a garou mercenary? Merlin, that was quite the combo.

Then came Jace's retort and she was rather impressed by it. The Alpha was all about ripping off someone's head, chewing on it and spitting it out, at least in a verbal sense. Yet, here he was, leaned back comfortably, stern expression as he spoke, and that seemed to have more weight to it than just leaning forward and yelling every single profanity known to man in Casey's face. Kara raised an eyebrow as she watched him, carefully. It was a smart play--otherwise she wouldn't know what to expect from Casey except an opened door of aggression he'd give right back. She didn't move, as she'd given him the floor to speak what was on his mind, which was actually a lot of what was on her mind too. Even though she'd been to America and back, spoken with her tactical adviser Gabe about everything to really gather the benefit of her contribution to all of this, Casey of all of these contacts had told her the least of all of these contacts.

When Jace looked at her, she slightly nodded, knowing he'd carry on regardless of her reaction. It just meant she'd listened to his words, considered them carefully, and understood. However, the following remark made her sigh aloud and she shook her head. She nearly bit through her tongue. She wanted to say his name to get him to stop, but that might have seemed bad, as she wasn't out to reprimand him. Exactly the opposite. She agreed with him, a hundred percent. It's just that Kara wanted to say her piece, even if it meant little in this verbal bout between these two. "Insults and whatnot aside. Jace is right." Her voice started soft, but confidence built up in her tone as she showed quite clearly that she agreed with the Alpha. It wasn't necessarily to single out Casey and put him on the spot--as she'd done that inadvertently--but Kara had to be honest here, not only with herself, but with the two of them. The two men who tested her ability to lead. Constantly. "We've been over this before, Casey. You might not trust them, but I do. He and I--" she gestured toward Jace, "have worked towards solidifying the terms of the original agreement. So far it's worked out well, and I don't see that changing anytime soon. No casualties. No damages to the safe house. No...other incidents." She gave Jace a brief glare with a smirk, in reference to what had happened with Stana Chastaine and her release to the pack. [Now that was something.]

"Believe it or not, the Lucky 7 are valuable allies to our cause, and I've been saying that from the very beginning too." Kara stated firmly, more confident in saying that now than she ever had. "If what's being insinuated here is that trusting them teeters on the fact that our pack is going to turn on the The Order," Kara took a beat, mostly because she realized what was said, but she let out a breath and shrugged. "I wholeheartedly disagree. They've held up their end of the bargain, and Jace has assured me they'll be fighting with us, for us, and won't be swayed by some government coin." There was maybe a sliver of doubt in there. It was always in the back of her mind: a possibility that Jace could take the 7 and perhaps Stana, uproot and get the hell out of the compound without so much as a word goodbye, but something was telling Kara this would not be the case. But would gut instinct and some blind faith in the garou be enough to convince Casey? "So...like it or not, you two, we're all working together. What the hell is the point of fighting each other on this, when we want the same thing, hm?"

Fierro told her to steer the meeting, and by God she was going to to try and get this damn ship to the finish line, even if she hit a few icebergs along the way.
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by: Jace Bryden
#11617
Jace felt the silence spread over the room after Kara had said her piece. It wasn't a comfortable silence either. The alpha equated it to the calm before the storm and he was certain that a storm was brewing inside Winslow. Eventually the man spoke and Jace had a hard time not opening laughing. Taking everything that was said as a fight? Wasn't that rich. Did Casey honestly think he was some special snowflake that was being treated any different than he'd treat someone else? The alpha's smirk widened.

"Awe Winslow, touched that you think I think highly enough of you to treat you any different than I do anyone else. Here's the deal snowflake, this is how I am with everyone so best get used to it." He wasn't trying to be overly confrontational but the record needed to be set straight. No point in the man wondering around wondering if he thought the 7 had some sort of vendetta against him. Rumors like that were bad for business and alliances.

And then Winslow carried on, almost as if he was chiding Kara for calling him out, and then going on about groups and many people making decisions together. It made the garou want to gag. Groups were terrible for making decisions in a timely manner, fuck that's why there were alpha's. One word, a snap of the fingers and boom! done. No bickering, or squabbles about so and so not liking something, or waaaaaa so and so is hurting my morel compass. Bleh, waste of time and energy was what that was. Still Jace continued to list as Casey said his peace.

The Spiral snorted in half amusement when Casey stated that he didn't want to work with the 7 and then had the balls to say he didn't know why he was needed and some bullshit about arguing. He hadn't been arguing earlier. He'd asked a damn question about numbers and had expected to get a straight answer, not some fucking useless run around because someone didn't have the balls to spit it out.

"Well same could be said for your group then can't it? Have they taken an oath? Are they loyal to you or to Kara, because that's one hell of a difference. But as far as I'm concerned you can take your oath and choke on it. It's just jumped up words that mean nothing in the end. I have a contract and that's more than enough for you lot. But if you want to go into this mess handicapped because you don't want to share information then fine, I could care less. Just means the 7 will work solo as we always do and move within the parameters of our contract and if we see something we don't like, well the investment isn't there for us to stick around."

It was then that the alpha dropped his feet off of the desk and sat up, much straighter before leaning forward with a sinister grin.

"That said, if any of my crew get called out for messing up timing, triggering something early, or if anyone of them get hurt because of information you held back because you don't have the guts to spit it out.... things will end badly for you. You can count on it."

Threat delivered, Jace returned his feet to the corner of the desk and resumed his non-threatening slouch from earlier.
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by: Kara Viridian
#11622
"Alright." Kara placed both hands on her desk firmly. She didn't realize how hard she settled them, but it was a thud loud enough to get everyone's attention. She looked at both men, slightly exasperated. She had heard enough. While on one hand she did understand Casey's dismay, she was also not too thrilled with Jace's retort. They were just going around in circles about something that, while it needed to be aired out, needed to be nipped before it got any worse. "That is quite enough."

She folded her hands together and leaned back in her seat. The discomfort of Casey being in the room with Jace got him to the point of wanting to leave? Sure, Jace's harsh way of speaking made most upset and want to take off. She got that. Then Jace's threat about potentially leaving if it wasn't worth his while irked Kara. She didn't know why, but it did. He was a mercenary, so she should have understood that this was very possible, but it still didn't sit with her well. All these threats, attitudes, vibes of disapproval were unsettling her, and she almost felt compelled to adjourn and cast them both out until further notice... but she wasn't about to lose an important spoke in the wheel due to verbal misconduct. They addressed a good point, but she knew it was getting out of hand and they needed to get to the real reason of the conversation before anyone could be dismissed.

"Before we carry on this lovely little carousel of horrors--as I am sure we all love the way its derailed from what we are here to talk about--the fact of the matter, is this... The three of us are going to work together, whether we like it, or not. The three of us have been thrown together for whatever reason and Merlin help us for this outcome, but we are going to make these plans work." Kara looked between the men, her sea green eyes glistening with some authority, as she would be damned if she couldn't steer this in the right direction again. "As much as you'll both hate to hear this, we are all one unit on this op. Order. We're set to make the regime realize we aren't dead and that we are coming for them. So Jace, the Lucky 7, and your organization, Casey, are Order, for this operation. All inclusive. One umbrella. One unit. I'm not going to ask you to be friends, I'm telling you to be allies for just one damn minute, please. So let's drop this and move on, or rather. Start over."

Whether that was going to be taken well had yet to be seen, but Kara would carry on, to whoever was left standing.

Kara's attention shifted to Casey. "Yes. I have the plans. What information I was able to take away from our meeting in America, as well as a few tactical adjustments from Gabriel, I have that. We're going for Ministry, and Diagon. But what I would like to know is how close were getting to this. Are we marching right into it's face or are we sending others in first? Now that we have Bryden' s crew," There was a slight pause as she glanced over at Jace for a second before turning back to Casey, "How do you propose we go in, if you've discussed this with your men? Gabriel provided charts, times, positions, areas that might be clear and provide the least amount of damage. Collateral, that is."
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by: Jace Bryden
#12960
Kara's redirect had come at the perfect time, otherwise Jace was certain he would have ripped into Casey. If the man was so fucking keen on walking then the Order would be better off. The alpha matched Casey's pointed look with one of his own, only he let a smirk grace his features and let clasped hands rest easily on his stomach as if Casey wasn't even worth the effort of bothering with. It was clear he'd got under the man's skin and Jace had every intention of poking and prodding until Winslow ran away with his tail between his legs. If they were all operating as Order then Kara's word was law, the sooner Casey figured that shit out, then the sooner they could get down to business. Speaking of...

It was hard not to just mocking laugh at Winslow's follow up. So his own crew didn't even know how many people they had? And everything seemed to hinge on intel from only one source... It was so fucking stupid Jace couldn't help but wonder how the hell this group even functioned. This Evie being the only one in the know? For a plan that seemed to hinge on timing a hell of a lot was sure being left up to dumb luck. Even within the 7, when solo missions were required, everyone knew what each other's job was and how to aid if shit his the fan... With the mess that was currently being proposed how the hell would they even function? If something needed changing on the fly, how did everyone communicate to make sure no one jumped the gun? The alpha also didn't miss how Casey made no mention to answer Kara's question about collateral damage. We're the non Death Eaters and Guard to be standard fallout?

"Of course the Order could take there place," The alpha's words dripped with sarcasm and he didn't break his gaze from Casey's unless the man broke first. "And how many do you need for that? Shit, the way you make it sound it's like a bunch of your lot bailed already. Can't organize or move as one if we don't know what we got Winslow." Jace then turned his attention to Kara.

"Fun as this little get together has been, it all seems a bit suicidal and I ain't the least bit interested in getting the 7 involved. So unless you can give me a reason to risk my crew on a whim you can count us out sweetheart."
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by: Kara Viridian
#12961
This was beyond frustrating.

How the devil was she supposed to work with these two, if they were just gonna keep see-sawing like this?! She already put her foot down. She put her other foot down too, actually. Kara was trying to steer this as best as she could but on a wagon with broken wheels, it was not an easy vehicle to navigate. She needed stability, something she hoped these two could provide, even if it wasn't a benefit to each other--but a benefit for her and the others counting on them to make this work. Kara took a deep breath, steam coming off of her the way she felt heated, and then

"Great." Kara sighed. If she didn't know any better she'd smack Jace's feet off of her desk. She wanted to be taken seriously, by both of them, but she was getting all push back and no pull. At the mention of Ianto, she shifted. Kara was still not sure how she felt about the man, but if he was vetted by Casey as his closest ally on this operation, Kara was fine with him being a part of this. Hell, Casey just mentioned that they had to work as one, but now Jace was ready to spike on his volley. SERIOUSLY?!

"What is it going to take, huh? We're going in circles. I get one of you on board and the other wants to jump ship. Pick a side and stay on it. You're either with this, or not." Kara was in this, regardless. Presence of the Order needed to be established now that she was somewhat on her feet with recruits and members in line. They were cornerstones though, these two, and she wanted them to be a part of that development.

"And are you seriously telling me the 7 would actually walk away from a fight?" That fire in her eyes didn't die down and she turned them directly on Jace. Well...that was unexpected, but if she was mediating, she had to show both parties this wasn't a damn game anymore. If she learned anything about Jace and his crew, they were always prepared to draw blood. While casualties and injury were to be kept to a minimum, it surprised her to hear Jace was threatening to pull away from that. Whether or not it was just a scare tactic to further rile up Casey to carry on this testosterone, stubbornness fueled grudge match between the two of them, Kara was throwing in her own two bloody cents.

But she needed to get back on track.

"Evie is still out of the picture?" Kara turned back to Casey, asking with a bit of sincerity in her voice. She didn't elaborate but there was some distaste in her tone for the woman who spurned her for catching the admiration of her ex-husband. She didn't mean to bring her up and honestly that was all she was going to say on the matter, if anything, to clarify whether or not she would be an asset or a possible liability.
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by: Jace Bryden
#13875
He listened as Kara decided to finally step up and pitch some sort of fucked up plea to work together with Winslow. What the fuck did she think he was trying to do? Pick a side? Hah! There were no god damn sides, especially if there were hints that the other side wasn't playing ball. Whatever, worse comes to worse and they could cut and bail. Not like they'd never done that before when situations had gone south. Still it was a pay check, part of the retainer, so as long as that's what Kara wanted then Jace would be willing to work with the Winslow and his imaginary crew if it really boiled down to that. He sure as hell didn't have to be happy about it though.

"Yes we would walk. If high tailing it out keeps my crew alive then ya, we cut our losses." It was stated matter of factly and without any emotion tied to the words. It was exactly as the alpha had spelled it out. He matched Kara's sea-green gaze with his own and simply smiled. He was daring her to push the issue, he'll if Winslow wanted a shot he was ready for that too.

But then the conversation shifted. Evie? Who and what in the fuck was an Evie? Casey's explanation did little to settle the alpha's nerves about the whole situation, and again he felt as if he was only being told half the story. From what little Jace was getting, he couldn't shake the feeling that Winslow and this Ianto guy had staged a coup, but from the way Casey was talking, this Evie was still very much alive... He frowned.

"Alright so who the fuck is this Evie that, correct me if I'm wrong, you swiped this crew from? Sounds like she's still breathing so can we expect her to show up to take back whats hers? Cause last thing we fucking need while out in the field is some pack squabble over rank."

Jace looked to Kara when Casey mentioned bring in his people onto Order turf. It was hard not to growl out at that but Jace bit it back, knowing ultimately that would be Kara's call Personally the alpha thought it was suicide and shouldn't even be talked about until after the attack. To many god damn unknowns...
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by: Kara Viridian
#13881
The stand-off with Jace brought the pot back to boil, as far as Kara was concerned. She stared back into his dark-brown eyes, letting her gaze linger there for a lot longer than she wanted. Getting lost there only intensified the matter, but somehow didn't make her uncomfortable. Actually, she was more comfortable than ever. So he was threatening to leave? Kara huffed. "I'm not interested in playing bluffs right now, Bryden. And quite frankly I'd love to hop in the 'whip out my caliber' game, but right now I don't have the energy for it." She smirked, "Now, we agreed, made an arrangement to keep you on retainer, and as promised you'll get your dues paid in full if we can just cooperate." That's what he was thinking right? It's what a merc would always have on his mind... 'go where the gold goes', was the old saying, right? Kara was taught a lot about mercenaries in her day and even learned their ways first hand. Jace and his crew weren't any different. "The aim is for a low-casualty strike. So low the casualty count would be non-existent. We're putting measures in place to keep all of us alive;'us'includes you and yours, of course. In just a few weeks we've already strengthened our fighters, both physically and magically. We've made good on our deal to house you and the crew, pay you, feed you, and offer a return ticket to keep you in-house if you prefer not to stay at your homestead. I've proved to you that I can and will lead this force, and given you what you asked for, Jace. If that's not enough for you, then what are you still doing here?" It was a half-threat, half-curiosity. If he was so ready to just evacuate at any given chance after everything they'd been through so far, then...what was keeping him around? She arched a brow and kept her eyes locked in his for a bit longer, a wry smile tugging at the corner of her lips.

Merlin, how did Fierro handle doing this shit every single day? That is, of course, if Williams had him facing this nonsense on the daily. Part of her wished he was here, but that would probably just add to the tension in the room that was already so thick it was nearly impenetrable.

"This whole meeting, which I'm hoping wasn't a complete waste of time, was to get the facts straight. Get everything out in the open, and get us all in line. Bickering isn't making my job any easier, and if it continues this way, then what? We say fuck all and let all of this planning go into the bin? No. I still plan on moving forward with this. We're at a point now that it makes sense to get us back on the map, as we discussed." Kara's steely eyes shifted from Jace to Casey. "I'll put myself on the line for it. I already agreed to it, I intend on seeing this through." It was a dangerous mission, there was no denying that, but Kara had poured quite a bit of resources into the plans for this mission. The garou were a huge asset to her forces and so were the stragglers from Evie's lot, but she was still curious just how down and out Casey's ex was from this whole ordeal.

Dead to the mission?

She echoed in thought. That was an interesting way of putting it, and she even made note of the way he said it, too. Usually mention of his ex-wife came with an enamored tone, a wistful sigh of thoughts from long ago, a longing for the woman he'd fallen in love with before. But the more and more she thought of Casey and Ianto's current situation, the more it drew concerns. So they took everything away from her, someone they deemed unfit to lead, someone who has ties to this realm! Now, if and when she found out and she ever decided to come home, what would stop her from finding her, or anyone else involved, and just-- ... The words were already out of Jace's mouth before she could form any coherent sentences from her jumbled thought. It was almost exactly as she would have posed it, less vulgarities, but damn did this strike her as odd. It was strange though, as it was like he'd read her mind. But, why didn't she pick up on all of this sooner? Fuck. She felt like an idiot for not seeing that possible liability. Kara admitted she had a lot to learn. Casey and Jace were both leaders in their own right, but if they were resisting an alliance, how the hell was she supposed to learn anything from either of them, the two men who, in their own way, offered to help her lead?

Kara narrowed her eyes, those sea-green orbs trying to show strength over fear and uncertainty, but she didn't deny, it was there. This not-so-minor detail was bothering her, and the both probably knew it. She wanted to answer Casey's offer to bring the rest of their followers along, but she hit a road block. She was stuck on the query involving Evie... and this was his question to answer, not hers.

Evie would always be the ghost of his relationship past, come to haunt her.

Again.
User avatar
by: Jace Bryden
#16583
The words "doubt she'll care" irked the already temperamental alpha. It was stupid to write a leader off simply because he didn't think she'd give a rats ass that he stole her crew out from under her nose and Jace couldn't help but think this little "write-off" would come back to bite them all in the ass at some point. Angry was an understatement. No leader worth his or her salt would simply let someone successful stage a coup and then not retaliate. Such a notion was so far removed from what a garou would do it was hard to even fathom that a human wouldn't be out for blood. Fucking hell, by rights there should be nothing but a trail of bodies left to mark what happens to betrayers.

Rather than voice the thoughts in his head out loud, the mercenary leader opted to remain silent for the time being as Casey spoke. He leaned back in his chair, adopting the slouched position he'd been in earlier in an attempt to hide his growing unease as he watched Casey with an intense gaze, looking for any sign, tick, or tell to indicate whether Winslow was talking true. While what the younger man was saying was interesting in its own right, Jace couldn't help but notice the man had completely sidestepped his question. He didn't care about Evie's fucking deeds and back story, or how she was going after some Trevor guy. He wanted to know who the fuck she was, how Casey knew her and what that meant for his crew down the line. So much for cooperating and putting all the cards on the table. Fine, if that's how things were going to be played then he would return the volley in kind and bring it up with Kara later since she had already brought to light the retainer and reinforced that it was the Order Lucky 7 was currently working for and not the other way around.

It would be interesting to see how she reacted to Winslow's explanation and expectation that Kara would have time to vet all the newcomers properly. He shifted his gaze to the woman in question as he'd already made his thoughts on that issue perfectly clear earlier. If she wanted to play the part of employer and lead then this was her place to step in, and if she didn't? Well, the 7 would be getting less sleep and doing their own planning in the very near future.
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